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Russia’s Oil Exports Still Strong Despite Sanctions

Russia’s crude oil producers managed to export 7.32 million barrels per day of crude oil and crude oil products in February, Kpler data showed, indicating to some that the ban on Russian seaborne crude shipments into Europe and the price cap mechanism have done little to curb the flow of Russia’s crude.

The 7.32 million barrels per day of crude oil exported from Russia in February is largely on par with that exported in December, shortly after the crude sanctions went into effect.

But that comparison is based on a December that saw Russia’s exports lower due to weather-related disruptions, pushing some shipments into January. Russia’s January petroleum exports increased as a result, and now February’s exports have fallen back to December levels. And once again, inclement weather has restricted the amount of crude Russia has been able to export this month, with the port of Novorossiysk “repeatedly shut down this month.” Kpler crude analyst Viktor Katona told Bloomberg.

For March, Russia has stated its intention to cut its crude oil production by 500,000 barrels per day, and India is facing increased scrutiny from financiers to prove that its crude oil purchased from Russia was purchased below the $60 price cap, Bloomberg noted.

Earlier this week, new calculations from the Institute of International Finance, Columbia University, and the University of California determined that Russia took in more money in the weeks that followed the oil price cap than the cap allowed. On average, the calculations show that Russia sold its crude oil for about $74 in the four weeks following the December 5 price cap. The authors of the published analysis called for “further investigation of these transactions and reinforces the need for stepped-up enforcement.”

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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